Happening Now Blog

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wednesday Messages

from Pastor Brian

"I think God is falling down on the job."  "I think God should get more personally involved."  I've heard people at SOV say things like this as they reflect on the dreadful situation in Iraq and Syria with the "Islamic State" driving to dominate territory in both nations. Understandably, we are concerned about crimes against humanity being committed there — and puzzled about why God doesn't intervene to end the atrocities.  Comments like these, critical of God, signal lively faith and healthy moral conscience.

 "Why does God permit so much evil in the world?"  It's a perennial question — the Achilles heel of our religion.  It looks like God can't be both all-powerful and all-loving — though that's we teach.  Given widespread evil in our world, God could be all-powerful but would then have a nasty cruel streak.  Or if God is love, then God must also be weak.  There's no obvious way out of this dilemma.  No wonder we question God! 

We don't know why God allows evil, but we do know God calls us to stand against evil.  The Prophet Amos wrote, "Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." (5:24)  But those who follow Jesus are careful how they take that stand.  St. Paul tells us to "overcome evil with good." (Rom. 12:21)  Paul's words summarize Jesus' response to evil in the Beatitudes:
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the reign of heaven.

We trust that Jesus is right somehow.  We stand against evil with the power of God's love.  We protect the innocent while trying to open a path for reconciliation between warring parties.  And if we think God needs to get more personally involved in the fray, well — aren't we just the people God calls to make that happen?

~~

"And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, everlasting joy shall be upon their heads." Isaiah 35:10

A few times this past week, because of the heat and stagnant air, the smell of the dairy farm down the road has settled in around us. It brought to
mind my youth on a farm. I'm guessing that all of us have scents, sounds or sights that may take us back to a time long since believed to be forgotten.
That was brought to mind by the experience of a week ago, when much of our choir and band went to Avamere of Hillsboro to see Bob McFall and Mert
Warneking. When the music began Bob and Mert, and some of the folks who had gathered, began to sing along .We shared communion as well. The words of institution about the blood and body of the Christ brought faith, a familiarity to folks as well, altogether bringing real life to the prophet's words in "singing, everlasting joy shall be upon their heads."

In the Peace and Power of the Christ,

Pastor Randy

Lessons for Sunday August, 17, 2014
Genesis 45:1-15
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
Matthew 15:21-28  

THIS WEEK

Wednesday        7:00 - 8:30 p SOV Choir rehearsal

Thursday           10:00 a  LLL
                          7:00 p  Social Media meeting (if you are interested or have knowledge regarding "online presence and social media" please plan to attend this meeting.)

Friday               1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday           10:00 - 11:30 a SOV Choir Rehearsal